Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tasbih and Mala I made yesterday. The mala is for sale on Etsy, The Tasbih was given to a friend of mine. 

108 Bead Mala

99 Bead Tasbih

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book Review: The Ancient Ones

Get it here: The Ancient Ones

This story is a wonderfully exciting and thrilling Sci-Fi meets Fantasy story. I would actually categorize it in with the Epics. You liked Game of Thrones, Prometheus or even the Hunger Games? Then you will love this story. It brings grand sweeping world building along with intricate plots and betrayals and ultimately redemption. I loved this story, and I was sad it ended. In the last bit of the book I kept checking to see how much of it was left because I wanted to know how much time I had left with the characters I had come to care for.

The story is centered around Tianna Collins, a young girl, on verge of graduation and seeking to become a lumia apprentice. However, destiny (in the form of her former childhood companion) has other plans. She will be led on a wild chase across many worlds in search of her true identity, the mystery of her murdered parents and the unraveling of a diabolical plot that reaches up into the very ranks of the Ancient ones themselves. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book; you will love it as much as I did!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another Tasbih..

I just love making these.. They are so quick and each one is different and has its own unique touches:

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Book Review: She only speaks to Butterflies

Get it here: Butterflies

What an amazing read! This is an overall wholesome story, there's a lot of small town gossip, a lot of love and faith and compassion and hardship as well. There's a mystery of who is setting the fires within the town, there's newcomers and then there's the questions of will this lady's daughter ever speak again or will she forever be struck mute by her fathers traumatic death.

I really like the story; its a refreshing one, there's not a whole lot of eroticism so if that's what you're looking for then this is not the book for you. This was a good book based upon Family Values, friendship, community, neighbors-helping-neighbors, basically everything that a small town stands for is what you get here. The characters are fleshed out and believable you truly do care and feel with the mother Sherry about her daughter and the hardship she faces and she's a grieving widow as well so you get parts of that story too. I also was able to really laugh with the characters in the book when the story brought a little more joy and humor to lighten up the mood. And I loved the ending, simply said it was perfect.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Review: Harry Watts, Bounty Hunter

Get it Here: Harry Watt

Written in the style of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, this book will entertain you and leave you shaking with laughter as you follow the incredible story of Harold (Aka Harry) Alphonse Watt, Bounty Hunter, as he tries to accomplish a job and stay out of trouble. How can he help it if trouble just seems to want to follow him to Venus and Mars? Fleshed out Characters, engaging back stories and interactions between them all will leave you caring about the mission and rooting for Harry as he goes about his business.

There are one liners and pop culture references abound in this book (Dr. Noe, anyone?) and they are not cheesy, they really do fit in the story. I found his remarkable prowess with the ladies to be a bit farfetched, but hey, it’s a story so I went along with it. This is the first in a series, so you will have to hang on to find out what will happen, will civil war break out? Will Harry end up back with Sybill? Will he ever have a meaningful relationship with his daughter? Tune in next time folks!

Recent items

Here are some of the thing that have been recently created in the OfftheNeedle Shop.

If you like any of it head on over...

Tree of Life Pendant
Wash/Dish Cloth Set


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Review: Enough

Get it here: Enough

I’m really conflicted about this book…
I love the story and think this is such an incredible story that everyone should read. Everyone in the US should be familiar with the circumstances surrounding private Slovik’s execution. He was (as the author remarks in the end) a very self-absorbed man, constantly be wooing him self (“They are out to get me” rhetoric) regardless of what others may be suffering. His wife had two miscarriages and is suffering medically and here he is saying they’ve had it in for me hon, never mind your hardships. I actually would say he reminds me of someone suffering from depression.
But, in the end he did make some very poor choices and even though at the time of his execution there were 49 other death sentences, his was the only one carried out. And the fact that no one had been executed for desertion since 1864, and no one since, does make you think about how maybe writing a confession about things you never actually did isn’t such a good thing.

What I wasn’t crazy about is the flow of the story, you start out with the viewpoint of a witness at the execution, then work your way back to before, around the time he and his wife met and then you work your way back towards the execution ending with one of the executioners. The different view points in each chapter threw me off on the going back part, once the story was turning back to the actual flow of events, it wasn’t as bad, but all that in itself made it hard for me to read this book and I think detracts from the story. Others might be fine with it and even think that this disjointed way of presenting the story even adds more to it.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Book Review: Hat of Keepings

Get it here: Keepings

An interesting and dare I say it: “Spellbinding story”?! Jane and Sara, two teenage Witches stumble upon a murder in progress and get pulled into a devious plot of a Blood witch trying to recover the Perigon Amulet. The two girls are at first not believed by the adult witches, but after a Jane gets her memory erased, Sara ends up being helped by the head witch Melissa, the guardian of their coven.
Teenage readers will gobble this book up for the interactions between the characters, the excellent story and the heartbreak between the two girls in their relationship with each other. There is a betrayal, lost family members found and an epic battle that was frozen in time, reignited with the classical good vs. evil.

This was a fast and entertaining book and it looks lie (according to the epilogue) that the story isn’t over, that maybe more is to come. The author did tie up any loose ends and plot twists that were left hanging so you can certainly read this book as a stand alone if you wanted. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Book Review: Murran

Get it here: Murran

This was a very, very interesting story. It was very well researched and all the characters feel flushed out and you are able to care about them very quickly. Having grown up in a different country coming to the US; I fully understand the conflicts of self identification Trey as well as Mr. Jackson went through. The different cultures and settings: Africa vs New York were very gripping, detailed and interesting to read. You almost felt as if you stood right there in the story with them. I really truly enjoyed the story and I couldn't wait to find out how what Trey would ultimately do with his life: would he stay in Africa with the Maasai or would he return to New York to face the consequences of his decisions in life?

Early in the story as we follow his decisions in life we could almost noticeably root for him and yell at him for being an idiot and to not throw his life away and that of his sister and for him to be a man and stand up to the gangs. I do understand that those are hard things to do and it's easier to just tell somebody to do something when you're not the one standing there having to live with the consequences of standing up to the gangs. Ultimately this is a really good read and I think this might be a very good one for young teenagers as well as adults to get a sense of the definition of what is a warrior; what are the Warriors weapons and how are the cultures different in Kenya vs the USA...

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Review: The Turkish Connection

Get it here: Turkish Connection

This novel is a fantastic read! The writing, plot, characters are all simply amazing! The story keeps you gripped right from the first few pages, the characters are all well fleshed out and described you could imagine them standing right next to you. I could not put this book down even though I dreaded to turn that page knowing each one brought me closer to the end! I truly enjoyed this story and am looking forward to reading the other books by this author.

Mehmet has a rough start in life, but what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right? Well in this book that sentiment is embraced by all characters, it’s a gritty world, dog eat dog fighting for survival every day. With Yuri, Mehmet finds a little reprieve and almost something akin to an apprenticeship. And so we follow him along, through the good times and the bad, and watch as he evolves his thinking, his morals and his will to survive. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Review: The Dead Bank Diary

Get it here: Dead Bank Diaries

The characters are fleshed out and you get just enough back stories on them to know who's who and how they work together and their relationships but you're not bogged down with too much information. The story takes place in Moscow and has to do with the money flow between banks and how people’s lives are changed as they try to stay alive and make deals however they can.  
Overall this story follows Anna, a “middleman” as well as her partners Peter and Igor as they're trying to make money and how the world has changed from when they started getting rich in the business to now, how it currently is.

I think this has a really good story and plot to it, it's pretty mysterious but the poor translation/editing really detracts from the story and didn't let me get into the flow of the events. I truly hope that there will be a follow-up book, or maybe this is the first in a series so that some of the loose ends will be tidied up. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book Review: She's all caught up!

Get it here: All caught up!

This is a memoir from Jamila Davis, chronicling her life up until and beyond her capture and incarceration for a Bank Fraud Scheme. It shows how our choices in life (good and bad) come with very real repercussions. It follows along, showing how she grew up, her ever changing circle of friends and family and how all of this can easily influence a young child.
I really was able to sympathize and put myself into Jamila shoes since I went through many of the same phases as she did in life. I ended up having help with my family who taught me the hard way to knock all my nonsense off, and for her, her choices led to where she is now. But she is still a strong, smart and resourceful woman and I would encourage any young teenager to read this book. They will quickly learn how you can think you are all that and noone can touch you but you are always only a few steps ahead of the consequences of your actions and if you trip up they are going to catch you! I will make my children read this book when they are old enough, that's for sure!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Book Review: At the Sharp End of Lightning

Get it here: At the End of Lightning

What a Fantastical new world we have been introduced to here! Imagine that there are four worlds, each lying on top of each other with Daimanland, Humana World and two worlds full of sprites living in Oceanlight and Forestlight. There is“thinness” in between the worlds and the pollution form ours is slowly seeping into the others. Helia from Forestlight and Yalara from Oceanlight are on quests to try and stop the pollutions and save their respective worlds.

This is the first Fantasy novel I have read that had an environmentally conscious undertone to it and that made it very very interesting. This is very well written although some of the word choices made me use the dictionary to look up the meanings to better understand the usage. I wouldn’t let this deter you from reading this book. It has some very unique Ideas about our relationship with our own earth. The only thing I didn’t like the many loose ends in the plot, it didn’t really advance much throughout the book but it was still a great book.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Review Tuna Life

Get it here: Tuna Life

What do several missing girls, an accountant-turned-CEO of a Tech start-up, a Russian Businessman and two nosy reporters have in common? Well, tuna life draws them all together in a thrilling masterpiece set in Australia amongst the new Tech scene of start up companies all wanting to make the quick extra dollar on new Apps.

The characters are complex and you are kept guessing till the very end (even after a very climactic scene) about who was behind the murders. And it has the ultimate twist; I tell you it is worth the wait to finish this book. I enjoyed the story, it had me gripped the entire time and it was a bitter sweet moment when I reached the end. This is a great story; about how money corrupts, the loss of our privacy with each new app and social media sensation and what happens when the killer is hiding amongst us ordinary people? Is killing ever truly justified?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book Review: The 8th Journal

Get it here: The 8th Journal

This coming of age mystery story follows Holly as her world is rocked: She finds out she is adopted and her late biological mother wants her to finish the hit series she published. Talk about high expectations! Holly is relatable; esp. to young adults entering their college years, the uncertainty of life and what to make of it can be daunting for all of us.
A maze of Family secrets, puzzles and dangerous incidents will have our main Lady and her closest friends Johan, T.J., Gilbert and the Professor on their toes trying to solve the mystery while staying ahead from a stalker, and the press.
Other than the odd really narrow format, I enjoyed this book immensely. I loved reading the satisfying ending where the characters all get a happy ending. I wouldn’t mind to read another book about Holly’s adventures.

Intrigue, humor and a fresh perspective in a seen it all, read it all mystery market. This new author is someone we have been subconsciously craving and seeking but never found: Until Now! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review: Lethal Authority

Get it here: Lethal

This is a classic who done it thriller set in the military and intelligence community. The first chapter does a fantastic job of orienting you within the series and setting up the back-story. You get to know the main character and his back-story and start to care for him and his friends (and possible lover?).

Semi-Spoiler alert: It was rather convenient how, in the story older, more experienced agents from different agencies started to defer to the main character even though he hadn't fully graduated from the training program yet... I don't know how plausible that is, but it did help to keep the story flowing as they followed up less and then worked together and hunted down the bad guys. The ending was very satisfying in how it tied up all loose ends but it did introduce some new plot lines in the last chapter that will be answered in the next book.  Overall, a satisfying good read that will keep you engrossed from cover to cover.

Book Review: South of Good

Get it here: South of Good

This was a very interesting and entertaining book and I enjoyed the story immensely. The well thought plot keeps you reeled in to the very end. There is action, humor, betrayal and even a little romance. You can truly imagine the characters and their reactions to the situations they have to face since they are very fleshed out and realistic.
The plot follows Hardin, a local south Texas sheriff and his friends when they get themselves into a bit of trouble early in the story. As we follow along, the trouble just keeps snowballing from there. Throughout this story Hardin's girlfriend gets kidnapped, a few people get killed and someone inherits a lot of money. Many things happen and the situations keep coming, but Harding and his "posse" deal with it all and handle it with humor and bravado.
This is a great law enforcement themed (DEA, Coast Guard, Sheriff) read, the classical good guys vs. bad guys and the Good Guys will prevail! (But how battered they will be, and who will ultimately be left standing you have to read to find out!)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Long-term Projects..

We're talking serious long-term. I've re-started this King Size Blanket for my Dad I started back in Spring of 2011.
Yes, thats right: Spring of 2011.
This blanket has almost taken on a life of its own in my humble opinion. It is a beautiful pattern, but a bit monotone, and having two under 3 kids running around the house certainly doesn't help. not when they LOVE playing with yarn. Somehow the pieces of yarn Mom cuts off are not as interesting as the yarn she s currently using..

BUT.. I want to finally finish this one and get it out of my house. I have tons of little patterns and projects queued in my Ravelry account and others started laying about the house (I'm sure they drive the hubby nuts each time he sees one. He never mentions them though, Bless his heart) that I want to finish and get done.

So here is the latest pic:

I will be adding more pics as i get more done on it...

As for my other side business? Well, I have a nice selection of Inventory currently and as a Tasbih only takes about an hour or so to make I'll be making more as I sell them. The Rosary that has been requested will have to wait until I get all the supplies in.

Happy Crafting!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Artsy Fartsy Muslimah: Refashion: 15 Minute Kaftan

Love her ideas!! I have so many Dupattas around that I will never do anything with! Now just onwards to actually following the instructions, lol

Artsy Fartsy Muslimah: Refashion: 15 Minute Kaftan: I love dupattas because of their beautiful colors, fabrics and decorations!  But I do not like to wear them on my head.  There is just...

New Product:

I just finished making these three: